Hanging in there

It was another foggy and smoky night in Portlandia. Wind speed is 1 mile per hour. 

Sunday seemed stinkier than Saturday. Plus, the weather forecast took a slight turn for the worse. The rain that was supposed to come tomorrow is now not due until Friday. There may be some thunderstorms on Thursday. But otherwise, rain is unlikely, and the breeze is forecast to remain anemic all week.

And so we cranky Portlanders are just going to have to hole up a while longer.

The situation reminds me of the episode we get about once a winter. It starts with a really cold snap, east winds howling, everybody shivering. When the next storm comes in off the ocean, it comes in high, but the temperature in the valley below stays below freezing. The precipitation might start off as snow, but then it turns into rain up above, which freezes when it lands and coats everything on the ground in a dangerous sheet of ice.

When it stops, the weather forecasters start in telling us that hey, the trend is good, it's warming up, and any minute now we'll be above freezing. Probably tomorrow. The warm air is coming in off the Pacific. Already we've gone from 25 degrees to 30. Hang in there, we'll be thawed out soon.

Then the next day comes, and it makes it to 30.5 degrees. We're still frozen solid, but hang in there, the TV screen says. It should thaw out tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes and it's 31 degrees.

The thermometer stays stuck on 31 for about three more days. Finally it breaks with warm rain. We all scrape off the last shards of loose ice and cautiously go back to normal.

Remember normal?

Anyway, here we are, waiting for another system to come in off the ocean and scour out the valley air. The anticipation and the impatience are familiar. So there's that. Come on, ocean.

UPDATE, later that morning: Wow, Portland says there's no garbage pickup today because of the foul air. Those folks roll every weekday except Christmas and New Year's, and so you know it's bad.


  1. Looking out from my back window I had a similar momentary thought about winter, noting that the smoke hanging in the large trees was not wholly unlike the fog or mist that I have seen in many Portland winters. I have found myself nervously compelled to track the air quality count, particularly having heard recently from friends in the San Francisco Bay Area how smoky it has been down there. Counts of 406 and 410 in my neighborhood in SW Portland over the last couple of days, with the EPA's air quality website (Airnow.gov) yesterday indicating 350 to 515 in Portland, or "hazardous" with the prognostication for Tuesday merely being "Very Unhealthy" which I think means under 300. I gave my only air purifier to a friend who has a one year old in the house, not even considering trying to locate another one one in a store to buy for myself. I did follow "the guidance" by cutting a large furnace filter in half and taping it to an oscillating fan. I've taped cardboard with duct tape over my fireplace, put a clear plastic "storm window" INSIDE my sliding glass doors to the deck, and put wet towels under all doors to the outside as well as duct taping the door jams. Thank goodness for duct tape! I also got the "no garbage pick up" robo-call, just as I had received a robo-call two days ago from my health insurer reminding me to get prescriptions filled, a first time occurrence, perhaps since they had heard about evacuations in Oregon. Oddly enough, I am going to go out later this morning for a prescription refill, and later PERHAPS to check my mail box this evening, albeit I hope that the mailman (or woman) gets to forego their rounds today. With Louis DeJoy as Postmaster General I truly feel for the employees of the US Postal Service of late, but that's another issue. I've wondered about my vegetable garden in the raised beds in the back yard, but feel that I should forego taking the time outside to do anything like watering, perhaps later in the week when and if the air quality index drops into the merely "unhealthy" range. I will have to google the effects of smoke on vegetable gardens later. I'm waring my KN-95 masks inside the house, and have a very scratchy and dry throat which woke me up this morning at 3:00 am, hence my comments on Jack Bogdanski's blog so early. Now to take a warm shower and try to go to bed for a while, trying to wear my KN-95 mask while sleeping. A last thought is to use my essential oil diffuser to put some lavender oil into the air. It may not help the smoke, but at least I won't smell the smoke as much, and perhaps the lavender oil will help me sleep.


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